Steve Jobs did not found Pixar. He bought it from Lucasfilm in 1986. By then, it had existed for seven years as a computer graphics group within the Lucas organization.
Jobs did not, at least initially, even envision Pixar as an entertainment company. When I first encountered it in the early ’90s, the then-erstwhile Apple CEO had Pixar churning out 3D animation software (I still have the box at home).
Pixar Typestry 1 and 2 were little-known but well-produced Windows applications that let enterprising users create 3D text on their home PCs. (By “3D,” I mean computer-generated objects that look like they have volume and dimension, not stereoscopic 3D) . The software was pretty easy to use, but rendering on a then state-of-the-art 486 DX/2 computer could take all night. The last time I met with a Pixar representative in, I think, 1994, she told me the software division was dying, but the company was cooking up something even more exciting: movies. I looked at her for a long while as my mind conjured images of two or three desktop computers churning away at thousands of rudimentary 3D frames. I lied and said it sounded exciting and then went on my way.
Advertisement - story continues below